Photo - Malaysian contingent at Microsoft E2 with Anthony Salcito, VP of Worldwide Education, Microsoft Corp
Three teachers from Malaysia were singled out for their innovation and creativity in using technology for teaching during productivity company Microsoft's Global Educator Exchange (E2) event held April 28-May 1, 2015, in Redmond, USA.
The three teachers - Kamilah Abdullah of SMK Abdul Rahman Talib in Kuantan, Pahang; Deblin Lawan of SRJK Chien Chi in Plentong, Johor; and Seyamala Subramanyam of SMK Sungai Pusu, Kuala Lumpur - joined 300 of the most innovative educators from around the world at the three-day event to discuss, explore and learn new ways to align teaching and learning to the realities of life and work in the 21st century.
Microsoft Malaysia's Nik Ariff Nik Omar, who is director of the company's Public Sector Group, said: "Technology can be a tool to help improve education, but it is only one piece of a larger solution and needs to be supported by professional development for educators, which leads to new innovations in teaching and learning by these educators who are on the ground, every day, in classrooms around the world."
"Success starts with educators and students, so we are absolutely delighted to see our very own teachers receive the recognition they deserve for their passion in teaching, and the innovative ideas they have in using technology to reinvent and improve educational outcomes of their students," said Nik.
He said that both Kamilah and Deblin were selected out of the 300-plus educators at E2 for 'Project Excellence' in the respective categories, which praised their "innovative and creative contributions to the projects submitted."
Kamilah and her team of educators from Mexico, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Netherlands and India were awarded for 'Project Excellence' in the category of Mind Shift. In the Mind Shift category, the group designed learning activities that are inclusive, aimed at helping students with disabilities to adapt to a normal school's environment. The project made clever use of Microsoft products such as OneNote, Sway and Skype to create awareness within future generations on the importance of being tolerant and understanding towards every human being, regardless of their abilities.
Similarly, Deblin was recognised for 'Project Excellence' for her individual project in the Office Mix Award category, where she demonstrated the most outstanding use of Microsoft's Office Mix - a creativity tool to make PowerPoint presentations more interesting by including audio and video clips, to bring them to life as interactive online lessons.
Microsoft Malaysia also presented Kamilah and Deblin with the latest Microsoft tablet - the Surface 3 - to help them and their students do more and achieve more in the classroom.
Modernising learning environments
"As an educator, E2 has really opened my eyes to how collaboration among educators from around the world can elevate the education of our students to another level," said Kamilah. "I am passionate about teaching, and I feel that it is my responsibility to be more and do more to help in further developing the quality of our education here. Being selected as a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert allows me to expand my horizons towards achieving this, and I encourage more of our teachers to take up the challenge to use technology as a tool to educate our young people."
Deblin added: "E2 was truly a life-changing experience where I encountered some of the most enthusiastic, passionate teachers from around the world. I now have better confidence to try fresh approaches in designing innovative teaching and learning methods for my students. In fact, I am currently preparing my students for their first-ever Classroom Showcase to demonstrate ICT learning proficiency, which will be held during our school open day this year."
Microsoft's Nik said that Malaysia was part of Microsoft's 2014-2015 class of education innovators, which featured 173 Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Experts and 23 Microsoft Showcase Schools from 10 countries across the Asia Pacific region.
"Education is the single most important investment in the future of individuals, communities, nations and the world, and that is vital to sustainable social and economic success," he said. "Real change needed to achieve the nation's aspirations to produce a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce towards achieving developed nation status by the year 2020 does not happen overnight, but is an ongoing process with continuous support and commitment from all stakeholders. We are pleased to say since 2014, more than 230,000 teachers have benefited from our own Microsoft in Education-related programs nationwide, receiving training on 21st Century Learning Design rubrics and integrating technology in teaching."
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